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Twin cities (geographical proximity)

Twin cities are a special case of two cities or urban centres which are born in close geographic proximity and then grow into each other over time. The term Twin Cities in the United States refers specifically to the cities Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Cities twinned geographically do not necessarily match demographically, economically, or politically.

In the normal course of things, cities which grow into each other's space in this way lose their individual identity and whatever border or barrier still separates them becomes irrelevant until they fuse into one new city. One famous example of this is Budapest in Hungary, which began as two settlements (Buda and Pest) facing each other across the Danube at a strategic fording place along a trade route; another is London, England, which resulted from the merger of two cities, the City of London and the City of Westminster. But there are twin cities which have been able to resist this final union and have maintained individual identity against the tides of history, economics and demographics.

Twin cities often share an airport, into whose airport code are integrated the initials of both cities; DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) and MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul) are well-known examples.

In some cases, such as Albury/Wodonga in Australia, the two cities are permanently divided by a state boarder, often one that strictly adheres to a geographical landmark, such as the Murray River that divides New South Wales from Victoria, and thus, Albury from Wodonga.

Examples

Asia

Europe

North America

South America

Australia

Africa

Fictional twin cities

Tri-Cities

United States

Canada

Mexico

Asia

South America

Europe

Quad Cities

Examples of cities formed by merging

Resistance to merging

Bloomington and Normal, Illinois have always rebuffed any merger referendum, and where the original boundary is the appropriately named "Division Street". In England, the cities of Leeds and Bradford are very close, but have strong separate identities and would not see themselves as part of the same entity. Both cities have individual cathedrals and councils, as well as having separate sports teams.

See also

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